4th to 12th April 2015: National Trip to Balgowan, Scotland

Damien, Sherry and I set off for Scotland in Sherry’s car on Easter Saturday. Balgowan is a hamlet between Newtonmore and Laggan in the Spey Valley, about twenty miles south west of Aviemore. We were staying for eight nights at the very comfortable JMCS hut, with four other Red Rope members from Norwich, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield.

On the summit of Creag Dubh on the first day, overlooking the Spey valley (left to right: Damien, Dave Doody, Sherry and Deena)

On the summit of Creag Dubh on the first day, overlooking the Spey valley (left to right: Damien, Dave Doody, Sherry and Deena)

We were lucky with the weather, as all our days were walkable while the previous and following weeks were both a bit grim: there was a fair bit of snow the day we left! On the first day, we just went up Creag Dubh, a local not-quite-Corbett, walking from the hut, but then Becky and Sarah arrived and got us going up Munros, starting with the particular Geal Charn – there are many — which overlooks the headwaters of the Spey (and the rebuilt Beauly to Denny power line).

Damien contemplating Loch Gynack, on the "Golf Course Circular" walk behind Kingussie

Damien contemplating Loch Gynack, on the “Golf Course Circular” walk behind Kingussie

My own two most memorable days were near the end of the week. On the Thursday most of us got up four Munros, made easier by being able to start from the Drumochter pass where the A9 takes you up to 1,500 feet. On the Friday, we drove west to Creag Meagaidh, walked four miles up the glen to the lochan in Coire Ardair, and then Becky, Sarah and I climbed through snow to “The Window”, a very high pass, then walked east along a very windy ridge, including two Munro summits.

Sherry was going on to be warden of the Alex Mac hut in Glencoe for a week, so Damien got a lift south with Sarah, and I took the train back from Newtonmore.

Humphrey

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About Humphrey Southall

Director, Great Britain Historical GIS; Reader in Geography, University of Portsmouth
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